Bogaard, A., Heaton, T., Poulton, P. and Merbach, I. (2007). The impact of manuring on nitrogen isotope ratios in cereals:. J Archaeol Sci 34 (3). Vol 34(3), pp. 335-343.

Title
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Title:
The impact of manuring on nitrogen isotope ratios in cereals:
Subtitle
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Subtitle:
archaeological implications for reconstruction of diet and crop management practices
Issue
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Issue:
J Archaeol Sci 34 (3)
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Series:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume
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Volume:
34 (3)
Page Start/End
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Page Start/End:
335 - 343
Biblio Note
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Journal
Abstract
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Abstract:
Recent archaeological studies of human diet have used stable nitrogen isotope ratios (15N) from human bone collagen to infer the relative importance of terrestrial plant and animal foods. This approach is based on widely observed enrichment of 15N up the food chain, plants having distinctly lower values than the herbivores that consume them. Studies of early farming diets in Britain, Denmark and Germany have tended to detect relatively high 15N values, interpreted as evidence of a diet largely based on animal products, though archaeobotanical evidence for crop cultivation (e.g. carbonised cereal grain and chaff) is widespread. The paper investigates the impact of manuring on 15N values in modern cereals, and of charring on these cereal values. The results from two long-term experiments demonstrate that manuring significantly raises 15N in cereal grain and chaff. Depending on manuring levels and frequency, it appears that human diets with a major component of such grain would conventionally be interpreted as indicating a largely animal-based diet or a mixed plant/animal diet. Moreover, preliminary analyses of experimentally charred grain and chaff from manured and unmanured conditions are promising for the extraction of reliable ancient 15N values from archaeobotanical cereal remains. The wider implications of these results, and the need for further work, are discussed.
Author
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Author:
Amy Bogaard ORCID icon
T H E Heaton
Paul R Poulton
I Merbach
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2007
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Cereal Grain (Auto Detected Subject))
Charred Grain (Auto Detected Subject))
Human Bone (Auto Detected Subject))
Chaff (Auto Detected Subject))
Carbonised Cereal Grain (Auto Detected Subject))
20th Century (MIDAS)
Cereals (Auto Detected Subject))
Terrestrial Plant (Auto Detected Subject))
Cereal (Auto Detected Subject))
Source
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Source:
Source icon
BIAB (The British & Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB))
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URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03054403
Created Date
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Created Date:
12 Jun 2007